News Center

Back to News Center

Morrisville State College equine students eye pink ribbon to benefit breast cancer during upcoming horse show

Public invited to join the cause, participate in show, bake sale, silent raffle
MORRISVILLE, N.Y.— Catherine O’Donnell’s participation in an upcoming equine show won’t be about riding for a blue, red, or yellow ribbon top finish. Her sights are set instead on a pink loop of ribbon on her show coat and a colorful band on her wrist.

The pink icons, symbolizing the fight against breast cancer, will be prominent during an open horse show April 30 at the Morrisville State College Sheila Johnson Arena on Swamp Road. O’Donnell is among Morrisville State College equine students on the varsity hunt seat equestrian team who will be participating in a Ride For a Cure division during the show which begins at 9 a.m.

A student in the college’s bachelor of technology equine science breeding program, O’Donnell spearheaded the Ride for a Cure division to help raise awareness and to join the fight against breast cancer.

The public is encouraged to join her cause and can register for the Ride for a Cure division, a hunter class which consists of two over fences classes and an under saddle class, open to all ages, and all horses and ponies.

Those who don’t want to ride are still encouraged to attend the show to participate in a 50/50 raffle, a silent raffle and bake sale. Entry fees from the division and money from the bake sale and raffles will benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.

The ride symbolizes hope for O’Donnell, of Huntington, N.Y., a hamlet in Suffolk County, who has a close family member silently battling the disease.

“I want to show my support for everyone whose life has been affected by breast cancer,” O’Donnell said. “The money we raise is going to a great cause and I hope through our efforts, we are able to change at least one life.”

“This is an opportunity for all of us to come together for a common cause and to show the community that we care,” said Renee Petruzzelli, of Clifton Springs, N.Y., a bachelor of technology equine science breeding major, who is assisting O’Donnell with the Ride for a Cure division.

Pink will dominate show day. Baked goods will be decorated in pink and all division riders will receive a pink ribbon, donated by the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., and a pink rubber wrist band which O’Donnell purchased herself.

Her parents, William and Marianne O’Donnell, donated ribbons for the first through sixth places and champion and reserve champion for the division. Even the winning ribbons will be flanked in pink strips.

O’Donnell hopes to pass the ribbon when she graduates next year.

“I’m hoping this can continue and will become an annual event,” O’Donnell said.

Anyone interested in participating in the Ride for a Cure division or the open show can sign up at the event. For more information about the show contact Lisa Eklund at 315-684-6297 or e-mail her at

Morrisville State College offers one of the most diverse Equine Science Programs, with specializations in breeding, western, hunt seat, draft/driving, thoroughbred racing, standardbred racing, and business.

Students can try out to be part of the Equestrian Team, which competes in Region II (Western) and Region III (Hunt Seat) of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA).

Degrees offered are a bachelor of technology degree in equine science and two associate degrees in equine racing management and equine and science management. An Equine Breeding and Training Center, a 34,000 square-foot breeding and hunter/jumper facility, includes a breeding and foaling barn, hunter/jumper barn, stallion barn, a complete breeding laboratory, collection area, laptop classroom and three indoor riding arenas.

In addition to the Equine Breeding and Training Center, the college has an 80-acre Equine Center complete with paddocks, stables, and the only half-mile harness racing track on a college campus in the nation. Additional stables include a draft horse barn with a covered round pen and runouts. Construction has begun on an equine rehabilitation facility in the Town of Nelson on Route 20.

Morrisville State College sets the world in motion for students. Curriculums are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology. Visit to experience, Morrisville in motion.